The above question is a typical response people give me when I tell them about Boba Fett: The Movie. They think the title sounds fun, but when I tell them that the film is about nerds growing up, they assume that our idea may be good, but it’s just too late because we were beaten to the punch by Fanboys.
We were already well into our first draft when I learned of Fanboys, so I watched it with some reluctance, but upon viewing it I was relieved…because while the movie may seem to boast a similar premise, it has very different goals.
The film begins with a Star Wars-type scroll that sets up the story: though Star Wars fans have had to endure years without a new film, the long awaited prequel is on the horizon, and it promises to be a catalyst to reunite four old high school friends who have drifted apart. The scroll tells us something else, though, about the film’s goals by including a few throwaway jokes like the tag at the end of the scroll that reads, “Sent From my iphone.”
After panning down from the scroll and the stars beyond, the camera turns its attention to a house, but it’s not the visual that matters at this point, it is the soundtrack: Cumbawumba’s Tubthumping.
Though the filmmakers have already lightened the mood a bit with the aforementioned jokes, this song choice is such a tonal shift it is difficult to put it into words. While the filmmakers justify this juxtaposition with the revelation that the song is the soundtrack of the house party we are about to join, this choice (along with the crude jokes and frivolous banter that follow) reveals something about the scope of the film: this is not a film about Star Wars fanboys in general, but about a particular species of fanboy – upper middle class Caucasian party-going males who came of age in the nineties.
This straitjackets the film’s appeal, because while Star Wars boasts a fan base so sprawling it may well be considered the hub of pop nerd-dom, this film only addresses the tiniest microcosm of this vast ecosystem.
So while the title Fanboys sounds universal in its appeal, the filmmakers are not trying to make a film that speaks for the entire citizenry of Star Wars fans. In addition, as the jokes contained in the scroll suggest, the film finds just as much influence, if not more, from cinema’s history of spoof films as it does from Star Wars. Fanboys is about Star Wars fans, to be sure, but at its heart, it is a lampoon film.
With Boba Fett: The Movie, we are seeking to make a film that not only takes its thematic and stylistic cues from the source material (Star Wars), but also resonates with fan culture on a broader level. We hope to capture and preserve the wonder we all felt the first time we saw those rolling credits.